0700 CET: Nikon has today announced the first in a range of new 'Nikkor DX' lenses. These lenses have a reduce Image Circle which means that the lens can be made smaller and lighter but still maintain a full image for the smaller D-SLR sensor (23.7 x 15.6 mm; a 1.5x FOV crop factor). The new lens is a 12 - 24 mm zoom with a constant maximum aperture of F4.0, the lens is also a 'G' type which means aperture can only be selected electronically and it uses a SWM (silent wave motor).

Phil: This is very interesting and revealing news, it's clear from this that Nikon will be sticking with the 23.7 x 15.6 mm sensor size. What's also slightly curious is that if this is a new sensor size standard for Nikon why they haven't put double markings on the lens zoom to provide quick reference to the equivelant 35 mm focal length field of view. Although not confirmed yet this new lens format should also work on Fujifilm's S2 Pro (23 x 15.5 mm sensor).

Press Release (Nikon Europe):

Announcing a unique range of Nikkor lenses for
Digital SLR photography

DX Nikkor: Innovative as the Nikon cameras they are designed for.

Amsterdam, Netherlands: In an industry first, Nikon, the manufacturers of the world's favourite lenses for photography, announce the development of a new lens range specifically designed for the Nikon D series range of digital SLR cameras. DX Nikkor.

For over fifty years the word Nikkor has been synonymous with innovation, performance and quality in high-grade photographic optics. This tradition has resulted in Nikkor lenses becoming the overwhelming choice of professionals and discerning amateurs alike with well over 30 million F mount Nikkor lenses manufactured to date.

Details of the first DX Nikkor lens under development, is announced today.

The AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 12-24mm f/4G IF-ED features ultra-wide angle optics designed for the 23.7 x 15.6 mm sensor format used in all of Nikon 'D series' SLR camera range: D1, D1X, D1H and D100.

Smaller than the traditional 135-format, for which today's lenses were designed, shooting digital has meant making compromises with wide-angle photography. The smaller format size meant that a typical 135-format lens Field of View (FOV) is cropped, especially noticeable when using wide-angle lenses.

DX Nikkors are the no compromise solution.

The new AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 12-24mm f/4G IF-ED delivers, for the first time, an equivalent 18-35mm zoom focal length offering true wide-angle photography without having to buy a new camera.

DX Nikkors are designed for the precise coverage of this sensor format, implemented consistently in all of Nikon's Digital SLR cameras to date, whatever their resolution or speed. The smaller image circle opens up a variety of exciting opportunities in optical design such as ultra wide focal lengths, larger zoom ratios and smaller and lighter constructions, that were hitherto impossibly expensive or complicated to achieve in the traditional 135 format.

Nikon have drawn upon their extensive know how in lens design engaging and extending that experience with the same technologies that make Nikkor the choice of so many photographers. Newly designed aspherical and ED glass elements and smaller Silent Wave Motors (SWM) for "AF-S" high speed auto focus performance have been developed to ensure that DX Nikkors match the performance of their 135 format equivalents.

The original Nikon F camera system was pivotal in establishing the 135 film format as a serious format for professionals and amateur photographers alike. This was achieved through a coordinated body and lens system design policy.
The immense popularity of the Nikon D series camera's 25x16 format again demands a similar system approach. By standardizing basic factors such as lens mount and sensor format photographers can build a flexible and high quality digital lens system with confidence.

The new AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 12-24mm f/4G lens is scheduled for release in the Spring (2003).

Speaking about the developments Robert Cristina, Marketing Executive, Professional Film and Digital, Nikon Europe said:

"The DX Nikkor concept is great news for photographers, not only the legions of Nikon D series SLR customers, but for anyone considering making their first step to digital SLR photography. They solve the limitations of digital wide-angle photography at a stroke, and literally 'widen' the options for great digital photography without the expense and data payload demanded by cameras with larger but slower sensors."